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Coal secretary hid facts from Manmohan Singh, CBI tells court

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New Delhi: The then coal secretary, H.C. Gupta, concealed material facts related to allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand’s Rajhara town from the then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who also held the coal portfolio, the CBI told a court here on Friday.

Advancing arguments on the issue of framing of charges, Senior Public Prosecutor V.K. Sharma told Special Judge Bharat Parashar that Gupta concealed facts related to Jharkhand’s Rajhara North coal block allocation, involving Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. (VISUL), Manmohan Singh.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that Gupta, along with former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and others, conspired to favour VISUL in the allocation of the coal block.

Sharma told the court that the state government had recommended two other companies for Rajhara North coal mines but not VISUL.

This fact was not highlighted in the file noting sent by Gupta to Manmohan Singh, he added.

Even the steel ministry had not recommended the name of VISUL for the coal block, the senior public prosecutor apprised the court.

Initially, the state government had not recommended VISUL, but later former Jharkhand coal secretary A.K. Basu insisted on the firm’s name at a meeting of the screening committee.

In his defence, Gupta maintained before the court that VISUL was eligible for allocation of the coal block. On Wednesday, Gupta said that the final decision on the block allocation was taken by the then coal minister Manmohan Singh.

The court posted the matter for June 30 for clarifications.

Others accused in the case include VISUL director Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan, government officials Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi.

They have been charge-sheeted for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Prevention of Corruption Act.

-IANS

 

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Anupam Kher Wants History Not to Misjudge Manmohan Singh

It is directed by debutant Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, along with Hansal Mehta as the creative producer

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Anupam Kher
History will not misjudge Manmohan Singh: Anupam. Flickr

Veteran actor Anupam Kher has wrapped up shooting of “The Accidental Prime Minister” that is based on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and says history will not misjudge the Congress leader.

Anupam on Friday shared a video, where he is seen donning Singh’s looks and holding the film’s clapboard. He announces that the last shot of the film was taken at 2.40 a.m. on October 27.

“It is a wrap for one of my most cherished films ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’. Thank you…for the most enriching times. Thank you Dr Manmohan SinghJi for your journey,” the actor said, who kind of walked in the former Prime Minister’s shoes.

Anupam says it has been “a great learning experience.” “One thing is sure ‘history will not misjudge you’,” he added.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher, flickr

He also shared a photograph with actress Suzanne Bernert, who is essaying the role of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the film.

The film is based on a book by Sanjaya Baru, a former media advisor to Manmohan Singh. Akshaye Khanna features as Baru, and Divya Seth Shah plays Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur in the movie.

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It is directed by debutant Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, along with Hansal Mehta as the creative producer.

Scripted by Mayank Tewari and produced by Bohra Bros, the film is slated to release on December 21. (IANS)